Elsie Hillman, philanthropist and GOP powerbroker who helped elder Bush be elected, dies at 89

Associated Press

A Pennsylvania philanthropist and political activist who helped propel moderate Republicans to state and national offices has died. Elsie Hillman was 89.

Hillman's billionaire industrialist husband of 70 years, Henry Hillman, and their four children announced her death Tuesday at her Pittsburgh home.

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Elsie Hillman is a former Republican National Committeewoman who was credited with using her political acumen and money to help President George H.W. Bush get elected in 1988 and Pennsylvania congressman Tom Ridge get elected governor in 1994.

Hillman chaired her self-named charitable foundation and supported Pittsburgh's Public Television station, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and efforts to help women and minorities reach elective office, among other works.

Funeral arrangements will be private, though a community memorial is planned for Sept. 19 at Calvary Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh.